Free Flash Fiction – Up The Chimney

Raven, Emerging from a Box

As we all know, the true purpose of the Internet is the collection of cat photos. This is Raven, emerging from a box

It’s Friday and the Clarion West Write-a-thon is about to start. So in its honor, here’s a flash piece that appeared in my collection, Eyes Like Sky and Coal and Moonlight. The piece is called “Up The Chimney” and it’s a brief riff on an old fairy tale. Enjoy.

Up The Chimney

I should have known better. There we were dozing by the fireside, old Tom and me, and there’s a stranger telling some story of funerals and cats. Old Tom, he leaps up, whiskers abristle. Shouting “Then I’m the King of Cats” and disappearing up the chimney!

I’ve always been a skinny lad, and quickwitted to boot, so I leaps over the embers, which were dying then anyhow, and scramble after Tom. It’s my chance to get to Fairyland, I figure, and old dad, he’d always said, grab opportunities as they presents themselves.

If I’d known then what I know now, I’d have kept sitting there and waved Tom on his journey. It’s Fairyland, sure enough, but it’s a cat’s notion of Fairyland. Maybe there’s one for all the creatures, horses and rats and huntin’ dogs. But their notion here of entertainment is chasing mice, the whole kit and court does it for hours on a time, and then they drink cream and eat sardines. I’d give my soul for an honest pint of beer.

The women, aye, they’re pretty enough, but they’ll claw you to death sure as eagles fly, and they stink, more to the point. They reek of musk and blood, and in the evenings they all sit around grooming each other and purring, an unsettling sound that unmans me whenever I hear it.
King of Cats be-damned. I’d search for some other Fairyland, but where might I end up? A fish’s land, where it’s never warm nor dry, or a beetle’s, perhaps. At least I have my fireside here, with old Tom cleaning my ears while I wait for some new story to set me free.

(It’s not too late to sign up for the 2012 Clarion West write-a-thon and get snippets in your mailbox throughout the next six weeks! Even a $1 donation will count.)

Facebook Twitter Email

Related Posts:

About Cat

Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches by the shores of an eagle-haunted lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her 200+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov's, Clarkesworld Magazine, and the magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Her story, "Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain," from her collection Near + Far (Hydra House Books), was a 2012 Nebula nominee. Her editorship of Fantasy Magazine earned her a World Fantasy Award nomination in 2012. She is the current President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). She is currently working on Exiles of Tabat, the third book of the Tabat Quartet. A new story collection, Neither Here Nor There, appears from Hydra House this fall.
This entry was posted in free fiction and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.